Tuesday, November 25, 2014

This One's For Me

Sometimes I have these moments where my initial reaction is to take a picture so that I don't forget [insert moment, sight, person here] and can return to it whenever desired. Sometimes it even goes a step further and I desire to take that photo so that I can share via some sort of social media. Thankfully, there are times where I catch myself. I stop myself and think, "Can a camera really capture the setting sun exactly as it is right at this moment, or would it be better to stop for a few seconds, take it in, and really enjoy it before it has set even further and the majestically glowing pink and orange hues aren't even there for my eye to see, never mind for my iPhone to try and capture after 20 takes?" (Let's be honest here, we all snap way more than one photo to try and capture something.)

One of my favourite sights is coming out of work and walking from the gatehouse to my vehicle in the parking lot. The property that my workplace is on is right beside a large field used by the university for the agriculture program, and right along the river. Across the river, a little to the southwest, is the centre of the city. Saskatoon is by no means a large city, but even our little "sky scrapers" appear to tower over the city when set against a backdrop of the flat prairie earth and endless skies. Around this time of year the sun is already beginning to set as I walk out to my vehicle and I catch myself forgetting to breathe at times because of the beautiful sight. I remember when I first noticed this a year or two ago. I tried to rush to my car to get my phone out (I leave it in there during my work day) to take a photo and I definitely got there in time, but the picture just wasn't good enough. It didn't capture the gorgeous colours and the definition of the buildings against the sky and the snow. I realized then that this exact moment was there for me, and that is all. I did not have to take a picture to remember it, because the beauty itself was enough to make me remember.

It's not just failed attempts at sunsets that I get this feeling about. It's a latte, a smile, a friend, a flower. It's anything and everything that I wish to appreciate. I love sharing, and I am definitely not averse to Instagram or Twitter, but sometimes it's simply more fitting to appreciate the beauty of the world around me rather than trying to allow others to appreciate it through my lens. I like to think of these moments as mine, gifted to me by God, showing me just how beautiful the world truly is.

P.S. I ordered a latte while I was writing this, and it's not the one pictured above ;)

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Little Memories

A cafe on a side street in Pisa, Italy where I enjoyed a wonderful cappuccino.

I was out for breakfast the other morning and I ordered a cappuccino. When it arrived I took a sip and I was immediately reminded of Italy. Cappuccinos taste completely different here in Canada, and while this one was still definitely not up to Italian standards, something about it made it that much closer to those I had multiple times a day while visiting Italy.

I actually quite enjoy when little things such as this remind me of places and times far away. Each and every experience that I have had has played a part in shaping who I am today. It's not just the grand events such as travelling halfway across the world, but it's the little things too. Little moments from a street in Pisa, or from the riverbank in Saskatoon. A conversation on a park bench in Hyde Park in London, or on a bus in Halifax. Big and small, these moments are all a part of me. 

What little things have caused you to remember lately? I'd love to hear!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

What To Do With Time Off From Work

You guys, I actually feel like a grown up. I have my first full, week-long break from work. I took Annual Leave and am away from the office for 9 days straight. I've been in an "adult" job since I came back from living in Halifax during the summer after finishing my degree in 2012, but this is the first time that I've taken a real break from work. Sure, I take days here and there; tack on an extra day on either side of a long-weekend or take that Friday between a statutory holiday and the weekend, but I have never taken a full week off. Granted, I am really only taking three Annual Leave days because yesterday was a Stat Holiday and Friday is my EDO, but still. A WHOLE WEEK OFF!

In the time leading up to my week off the top question I was asked was some form of "What are your plans for your week off?" My answer? Absolutely nothing. I had ideas. I thought I might disappear for a few days, or take my time to visit those new places that have seemed to creep up while I was too preoccupied with my daily grind. I knew I'd manage to meet up with friends or spend time with my roommate. As for definitive, invested plans, though, I had nothing on the go.

This could be seen as a poor use of time, but I just needed the rest. It's only Wednesday and I am already feeling so revived. It's beautiful. Some of my favourite things about unscheduled time off?

1. Being able to sleep in as late as I would like. I don't really sleep in anyway, but when I tell myself that I am allowed to I just wake up so much more happy, even if it's at the exact same time I would have woken up at on a regular week day.

2. The lazy pace of my mornings. I want to sit in bed and read blogs for 4 hours? That's totally fine! I want to enjoy a cup of tea while watching Netflix? Go for it! My mornings can go at whatever pace I would like.

3. The opportunity to be spontaneous. I'm not that naturally spontaneous. I tend to schedule time for spontaneity (it makes sense, I swear). During this week, though, I can do whatever, whenever and actually be truly spontaneous. (If I want.)

To be honest, there are so many other things that make time off so wonderful (obviously), but I'm much more interested in hearing how YOU like to spend time off from work. What would you/do you do with a week off from work?
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